Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Week + A TZP Cherry on Top!

This past week has been fun-filled with family and more family! I couldn't have wished for more than what I got as I witnessed yet another decade of this oh-so-exciting life in the most grand way! And the best part of it came quite differently than what I had imagined. I was really wishing to do something special for M&V for their anniversary the day after but I couldn't as the situation didn't permit but then again we decided to do something totally different and quite spontaneously.

We had gone to the temple in the afternoon on Friday and the plan was to surprise them to a romantic dinner at a lovely restaurant that I had picked out weeks ago... but we ended up canceling it all at last minute. Just for a movie, with an awesome company. Boy! are the four of us thankful for it or what!?! We loved it - "Taare Zameen Par". Sometimes it makes me think, what we do is so important and all those deeds leave a mark behind no matter how big. And Aamir Khan is quite good at that, if I say so. The man's brains ooze creativity and he shows it off in a magnificent way each time.

A few days earlier, I hadn't really gotten a chance to check all my emails but I did get a moment to take a peek at Ami's blog and noticed that she had liked the movie so when we had to decide what movie to watch, I suggested this one. M&M cried like I could take a plunge in the puddle of their tears. Poor V was sandwiched between them for more than 3 hours. And we ran out of tissues while in the theater. But I think anyone would do the same who actually realizes what the film tries to convey to the audience. The songs are wonderful but I wouldn't want to listen to some of them while I drive or while am away from mommy.

For me, the best moment of the film was when Ishaan wins a prize for this painting and comes on stage to accept it. Throughout the movie, I did not feel even a single moment that he was acting; this kid has acted so naturally. And the titles at the end of the movie are brilliant. They reminded me of the beginning title song "ek dooje ke vaaste" of "Dil to Pagal Hai" but this was far more excellent than that. I don't want to ruin the surprise for the rest of the audience who is yet to watch the movie but the only thing I can say is, if Aamir Khan does not get an Oscar for this movie, then Oscars will have much more to lose than AK himself. I hope the movie will make more adults more tolerant and accepting towards the kids who are different than everyone else. Three cheers to Aamir Khan!

PS. Did parts of movie remind you of Calvin and Hobbes? To me they did (specially the 3 x 9 = 3) and that made watching the movie exciting for me!

NB. If you do get to check out Aamir Khan's website for this film, don't forget to read the Director's Note.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holidays & Family Get-togethers

Aren't they wonderful? I think they work like therapy for everyone. They cheer you up, make you happy and recharge our beings.

They are hard to plan if you want everyone to get together in one physical location, but once it happens... the joy that comes with all the loved ones is out of the world. If everyone does their part and makes efforts for themselves and families, it is possible.

May be for the same reason, almost all the holidays are about reuniting with families and celebrating. Celebrating for we are part of the loving family that we have, for being blessed with all good people around us, for having an ability to appreciate and feel the love for our families. This holiday season and many more to come may everyone be more generous to forgive their loved ones and reach out to share. Share the love and happiness with all who really matter. A nice story that I read recently:


A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous yes.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

"The golf balls are the important things - your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

"The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. "If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you"

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

"Take time to get medical checkups."

"Take your partner out to dinner."

"Play another 18."

"There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter."

"Set your priorities."

"The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."

Happy Holidays to you & your family!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

તમે ક્યારેય રિસાયા છો?

મને કોઇ રિસાય એ જરાય ન ગમે. જે કોઇ રિસાય ને એની કિમ્મત મારે મન ઘટી ગઇ સમજો. અને મારા માટે જ નહિ, બીજા ઘણાઓ માટે આ વાત સાચી હશે.

એક જણ ખોટુ લગાડેં તે એક નહિ પણ અનેક લોકો ને નુકસાન કરે છે. સૌથી પહેલા તો જે વ્યક્તિ રિસાય એને જ મોટામાં મોટો ગેરફાયદો થાય. પુછો કેમ? જે વ્યક્તિ રિસાય એણે પોતે રિસાયા છે તે દેખાડવું પડે. એમાં જ સૌથી વધુ પ્રયત્ન કરવો પડે - નક્કામો શક્તિ નો વ્યય થાય અને પછી ખોટું લાગ્યું હોય એટલે સ્વમાન ઘવાયુ છે એવો પણ દેખાડો કરવો પડે. જો એમાં પાછુ કોઇક મનાવવા આવે તો ગુસ્સો કરવો પડેે એટલે બી.પી. વધી જાય તે નફામાં. અને છેવટે તમે જે કાઇ પ્રવ્રુત્તી બીજા કરતા હોય એમાં થી તમારી જાતને બાકાત કરો એટલે તમને તેમાં પણ સામેલ થવા ન મળે. અને આ બધા ઉપ્રાંત આજુ-બાજુ વાળા લોકો ને તમે બહુ મોંઘા છો તે બાબત ખબર પડે એટલે તમારી છાપ પર થોડી માઠી અસર થાય. કેમકે હવે તમે તે લોકો માટે મનપસંદ વ્યક્તિ ન ગણાવ. અને કોઇ હાઇ-મેઇન્ટેનન્સ હોય એટલે લોકો બને ત્યા સુધી તમને કોઇ જલસામાં સામેલ કરતા પહેલા બે વાર વિચાર કરે. એટલે આમ જોવા જાવ તો "બાવા ના બેય બગડ્યા" જેવું થાય. મોટા મોટા ઉમ્મરવાળા ભણેલા લોકો ને મોઢા ચઢાવતા જોવો ત્યારે થાય કે ખરેખર ભણ્યા પણ ગણ્યા નહિ.

હવે ફરી વાર મોઢું ચઢાવો તે પહેલા એક વાર વિચાર કરજો, કોના ફાયદા માટે છે? તમારા કે સામેવાળાનાં?

San Gregorio State Beach, CA

The beautiful San Gregorio state beach is located off of California's Pacific coast hwy 1 at the hwy 84 intersection near the town of San Gregorio, about 10 miles South from Half Moon Bay. The place has picnic tables and is perfect location to spend the day at!

A person sits on the edge of a cliff



Fishing on the Beach



A couple stands at the edge of the hill overlooking the Pacific ocean



A couple watches sunset



The trail on the hill and the bridge (highway 1) over the San Gregorio Creek



Kids play in the creek water that flows into the ocean

Sunset

More San Gregorio Photos

Monday, December 10, 2007

Proverb

You can catch more flies with honey than with the vinegar, if you want to.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Choice of Words

Every once in a while we come across people who use so called bad words freely when they talk. Sometimes they apologize saying "Pardon my French" after they say their favorite words and at other times they just say them. I've been thinking about this on and off since quite a few years when I first came across this phrase "Pardon my French".

Actually, it was one of the Indian aunties (who also used to be our neighbor) from whom I first heard this phrase. We were driving some place and some driver cut in front of her and she said one of those famous words that you don't hear in a decent conversation. Later on, she apologized but I thought, is that how you lash out at someone? I thought there were better ways to get angry/show your anger than that.

Then at other instance, we were visiting some relative of a family friend who were from Navsari (that's a city near by from Mumbai in India). Actually, we were not visiting but our family friend had to drop off something at their place so we stopped by on our way to a function. We must have spent less than 10 mins at their place but by the time we were out, my dad was really upset and told us all to never step foot in their home. Later on, I found out from aunty (because dad was so upset he refused to even say the reason) that the host using a bad word practically every other word in their sentence. And it made me think... why would someone do that? Have these people got no respect for their language?

In the past, I have come across some colleagues, male and female (I was so shocked at first!), also who'd freely use such words at work during normal conversation or when something goes wrong or something bad happens unexpectedly.

And then there are drivers or other people whom you meet randomly on the street or highway that are having a really bad day that they decide to take it out on you by giving you some bad gesture. I really feel sorry for them. It's too bad they don't have anywhere else to let that anger out but on the road at a stranger who hasn't done anything bad to them.

I remember once a not-so-close friend of my sister told her, "Wow! I've noticed that you never use any bad words. How do you manage that?" and my sister had responded with a smile that she just didn't like that kind of behavior. Later on, my sister and I had just laughed at the thought that people actually had to make an attempt not to say bad words.

Of course, majority of the people I encounter during the day are very decent and aren't very rude to say whatever without thinking but then again I wonder, why do people choose to speak and act so low? What kind of pleasure are they getting out of it? It does them more harm then good I believe. I wish these folks became little more decent than they are, for the greater good.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Golden Oldies - an article

It was so nice to read the Golden Oldies article by Hardeep Jandu, Nov 21 2007, a couple of weeks back.

While reading the article, it took be back a dozen or so years when I started feeling the same about Indian music and I still do, just stronger now.

The part that I found most interesting was this one and it conveys my feelings so closely that I couldn't agree any more with the author.

...

It seems to me that in trying so hard to be forward, Indian film has lost its culture and dignity. Aside from a few rare aberrations, everything is a remix. In trying to be modern, we have gone backwards. We have equated sex and flashing bulbs to moving forward. Forget about lip-syncing! Now, the vogue is just gyrating to DJ-ed tabla beats. What is the next generation going to face?

The fact is that India is a young independent country, though we have inherited years and years of ancient traditions. We can choose how we want to represent ourselves. Our films should reflect the age-old Indian values of integrity and community, values which must be kept for posterity. And, by teaching through example, we can ensure that our children do not only internalize the importance of superficial success and shiny lehengas.

The "modernization" of Indian cinema reflects the fact that India is changing rapidly, but perhaps changing so rapidly that she is falling off track. The era of clean and simple cinematic escapes may be over, but we should still be careful as to which direction our film industry is going. The media produce what we consumers seem to want. Instead of becoming a society that looks for cheap-cheap-cheaper thrills, perhaps we should focus on how to represent India the way she deserves to be represented -- with respect, depth, and dignity.

...


I really wish there were more people like Hardeep, who actually shared their thoughts and spread the word around so that eventually it can reach to the music directors of today who might think that the music of yesteryears does not create magic any more and is just not as cool as the remixed stuff.

And I was very pleasantly surprised to know that Hardeep is actually a high school student living not more than 20 miles from where I am. God bless you, Hardeep! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Have you been Good or Bad this year?

That's the question.

December is almost here and so is Christmas! and today I'm reminded of Calvin again when I read today's Garfield.

Of course, we can't really compare Calvin & Hobbes with any other comics but I just couldn't help notice the similarities. I think Calvin wins hands down, but Garfield is cute too. :)








©Universal Press Syndicate. Original work by Bill Watterson.

Dish Dash

If desis hangout any where in Sunnyvale that's not a desi place, it's Dish Dash. LOL! just kidding... [For those who're unfamiliar with the term desi, it means Indian and don't mean it to be derogatory in any way]

The food is good and so is the service. Their staff is quite friendly and polite. The place is fine middle eastern cuisine. When they say fine, they mean the prices.

The place does get crowded quicker and so if you're a large party, your best bet is to make a reservation or go at an odd hour to make sure you get seats without waiting long.

A few of their items that I've tried/tasted are Sambusak - spinach, mushrooms, onions, almonds and feta cheese wrapped in filo dough, and served with a special tahini-herb sauce.
My favorite M'shakaleh has layers of mushrooms, grilled eggplant, cauliflower, tomatoes, and rice, served with a yogurt-tomato sauce.
And the Tabsi Falafel is falafel, a Middle Eastern Favorite, topped with a thick sauce of eggplant, onions, peppers, tomatoes seasoned with garlic, mild curry and dry lime, served with rice. You can check out their vegetarian items page here.

They have quite a few traditional desserts. Baklava being the most famous & favorite that's the only one I've tried so far. I can say it is good but not the best I've tried.

Over all, Dish Dash is a fun place if you want to catch up with an old school pal or colleague for lunch. They have nice seating area outside as well, if weather is good. Being right in the middle of Sunnyvale downtown, it's a noisy place so not the best setup if you're taking someone special out on a romantic date.

Parking is hard to get close by to the restaurant during peak hours but a couple of blocks down on Evelyn, opposite from Caltrain station, there's huge multi-level public parking where you can park for 3 hours at a stretch without paying for it.

My rating for Dish Dash: 4/5.

Name: Dish Dash
Type: Middle Eastern
Average Price: $12-$15/person (Lunch), $15-$20/person (Dinner)
Address: 190 South Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Phone: (408) 774-1889
Website: http://www.dishdash.net/

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What if Gmail had been Designed by Microsoft?

My first reaction would be "OH NO!" but then again this one was a fun read! ;)

Source: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-11-20-n35.html

And some very helpful tips and lessons for good UI for folks whose creativity actually affects the UI designs.

Hypnotic Santoor



So finally after a wait of more than a month, I got to attend the "Hypnotic Santoor" concert of Rahul Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain. And the wait was completely worth it. It was my first time ever listening to Zakir Hussain perform live and also Rahul Sharma.

The concert lasted about two and a half hours only but the way this duo mesmerized the audience was out of the world! The coordination between the two artists or rather maestros was amazing and their communication flawless. So often during the program I sat there and just wondered how two people can play such synchronized music without reading if off from a piece of paper that too at a stretch of more than an hour at a time non-stop. It felt like same person was playing both instruments, specially when you listen to the work where they both slow down and speed up and then in low notes and high notes and low volume and high pitch music... all you can do is sit there shake your head and get lost in the heavenly music that falls on your eardrums. And then there were times when I realized why Zakir Hussain is called THE BEST tabla player of the 20th century.

The first half of the program was more of Rahul's signature work which involves classical Santoor combined with the new age music he experiments with on different taals of tabla, and the latter half was mostly on Raga Kirvani combined with different tabla taals. I liked both parts equally as they both were so enjoyable and I wished the program didn't pause for the break or complete at the end.

Rahul's smile is beautiful as well ;) and the way he performs is so very simple but the music he produces with his Santoor is completely mind-blowing! As for Zakir Hussain, I now know why music lovers all over the world are gaga for his tabla playing skills. To see his hands perform magic with the set of tablas was awesome!! The speed at which he plays tabla, you can feel he's deceiving your eyes and ears. Watching a live program and listening to classical music on audio are two completely different experiences and the first one takes the cake without a doubt! You just have to be part of it to experience it. It is truly a breath-taking feeling!

It was funny how the two artists were so much in hurry even during the break and at the end of the show, they just didn't seem to want to stay on stage. Who knows may be some crazy audience member might jump up on stage and start asking for an autograph. They both literally ran off the stage at the end of the concert after taking a bow towards the audience.

I wish the concert lasted longer but given the fact that it was on a week night, everyone was eager to be out of the theater, including the artists. It was a wonderful concert nevertheless! I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to attend it and watch these artists perform live. It is at times like these I feel blessed that I coexist on mother earth with these divine artists and have an ability to appreciate their art.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Music

When I read Kumar's post about music and studies, it made me think. What would have happened if there were no music in the world... it was almost impossible to imagine that. And then it made me realize that we have so much of the good in this world because there is music.

If you'd notice, our lives have music involved in them at all the times. It is the means to communicate to the soul. When I hear people say they don't like listening music, it just surprises beyond imagination how can that be possible? Thank God for creating music and giving us an ability to hear/listen to appreciate this goodness.

Monday, November 12, 2007

San Francisco Bay Oil Spill












Since last Wednesday, November 7, 2007, there has been some more than 58,000 gallons of bunker oil spilled in the San Francisco Bay because of human error when a Cosco Busan container ship hit the protective bumper around the second tower of the bay bridge. This has been a worst spill in last twenty years. Because of the oil in the water, the wildlife in the bay and the ecosystem has been affected in worst possible manner and the food chain has also been contaminated with the extremely harmful chemicals.

It is very sad to know that professionals who are given such high responsibility do not take it seriously and cause troubles that not only affect themselves but so many other lives around them. There is no way this harm can be undone but there are ways to help.



Want to help? Click for more info: http://www.baykeeper.org/

Some tips from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network:

Oiled Wildlife Care Network - Call (800) 228-4544. Team members require specific training.

If you see oiled wildlife, don't approach it or pick it up. Instead, report it by calling (877) 823-6926 or (415) 701-2311 and ask for a search and collection team to come to the area. Teams are going out frequently.

If you've already collected an oiled bird, record the name of the beach and the time and the date it was collected. Wear Nitrile gloves (not latex). Put the birds in paper (not plastic) bags. Put only one bird in a bag.

To report oil sightings: Call (985) 781-0804.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Diwali Wishes

Today on Diwali day
Let good prevail over bad
Starting from the within.

Wishing everyone lots of joy, happiness and good health this Diwali and New Year!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa World Tour Dates

Here are the dates for the SRGMP world tour that's taking place this November-December 2007.

Tour Begins Nov 19th Night

Travel To West Indies

Nov 23 - Paramaribo
Nov 24 - Port Of Spain

Nov 30 - New Jersey, Buy Tickets, Contact: Daljit at 973-704-6143, shaandaar@aol.com

Dec 1 - Houston, Buy Tickets, Contact: Irfan Mousa at 832-618-3333, irfan@sevenseaspromotion.com

Dec 2 - Atlanta, Buy Tickets, Contact: Mark Premji at 1-888-8PREMJI, http://www.premji.com

Dec 7 - Dallas, Contact: Mannu Mehta at 972-971-9095, mail@mannumehta.com

Dec 8 - San Francisco, Buy Tickets, TicketMaster, Contact: Deepak Mehta at 925-980-4449, deepak@mehtaentertainment.com

Dec 9 - ----------

Dec 14 - Florida, Contact: Prasad Naik at 954-749-3221, kodinaik@yahoo.com

Dec 15 - Chicago, Contact: Nick Patel at 773-507-7333, nick@latan.com

Dec 16 - Los Angeles, Contact: Manoj K. T. at 310-699-6296, mkaytee@gmail.com


Dec 21 - ----------

Dec 22 - Toronto, Contact: Sheetal Panesar at 416-646-8649

Dec 23 - Vancouver, Contact: Sharen at 604-543-9000, desiconcerts@hotmail.com

Dec 26 - Edmonton, Contact: Rai Minhas at 780-905-9192, raiminhas@web.com


Contact for all UK locations: Safdar Hussain at 0796 796 5201, thegreeneyed@hotmail.com
Dec 27 - Cardiff
Dec 28 - Manchester
Dec 29 - Birmingham
Dec 30 - London
Dec 31 - London (New Year Party)
Jan 1 - Nottingham

Sponsor website: http://www.safdarhussain.com/

Last updated: Monday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Garfield

Ever felt like this? :D

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Learning to Give Up! or Let Go?

Perhaps, this is how it is to transpire
All the time... waiting with despair
The feelings in heart are just dire
In the mind you know, to pause and conspire
Entire universe seems to go haywire
Nothing around you appears debonair
Crumbling down come the pieces of that desire
Eruptions within, and explosions like in a wildfire

July 20, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Assume

Got a chance to remind myself of one of these equations of life today.

When I assume something about you, it makes an ass out of u and me.

ASSUME = ASS + U + ME

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There's Nothing Rajni Can't

I've not been a die-hard Rajnikant fan but this one was awesome! This guy totally rules!! And I watched some of his works on youtube and all I can say is it's outstanding, mind-blowing, mind-boggling, fantastic, awesomeeeee! Check this out: ;)

How to Deal with Annoying People?

I've been trying to read more positive things today and thought this one was really good. I didn't want it to get lost in big piles of comments that are made by the seconds on Aspi's site so thought I'd put it on my blog. :) My thanks to Anonymous commentator for these helpful tips.

I've taken the liberty to format it a little but otherwise it has been copy-pasted word by word:

Here are steps to dealing with these people.

  • Kill them with kindness. Even though you may crave violence or some other form of hurt towards your enemy, and it hurts not being able to see that hurt, the most effective way to watch your enemy crumble is to be kind to them. After all, light always conquers dark no matter what. It is hard, and it all rests on your determination and will to achieve the objective, but it is possible.
  • Let your enemy dig their own ditch: When someone hates you, or is angry at you for reasons unjustifiable, then let them dig their own ditch. What goes around comes around. They will fall slave to their anger. If you are always angry and them, and there is tension surrounding you and your enemy, then you both are united: You both are slaves to your anger towards each other. Forgiveness frees that anger.
  • Don’t allow actions to bother you. Sometimes when you encounter miserable people, they sneer at those who are not miserable. Do not take it personally. If you take it personally, then you are just another miserable person in a miserable world. You do not stand out that way. You cannot stand out that way.
  • For rude and ignorant people, sometimes you have to act like an adult. Sure, there are people in their 50’s and older who act ignorant, and intolerable. If you have the will to act more mature and tolerant than them, then you are above them. Don’t be arrogant. Be mature. You will set an example for them, even if they seem to hate you.
  • If you do the right thing, some people will hate you. If you do not always sway with the popular crowd, people will hate you. Why? You cannot accommodate everyone. Sometimes, the more I am hated by negative people, the more I know I’m doing the right thing.

    Each of the five steps mentioned requires a great deal of will. They do work, but you have to be determined to make them work. I have had situation in which the above has helped. It has worked 100% of the time, every time I was determined to make it work. The same goes for you.


  • Source: How to deal with annoying people?

    Why?

    Why are majority of the news in newspapers, and online news sites always about things that are sad and bad? It's always about who died, who got murdered, who got some deadly disease, who killed whom, who dumped whom, who bombed where, who is doing drugs and getting raided, who lost a game, and what other bad things are happening around you and else where on this planet. Enough already!

    Why is it always about bad things? Why is there nothing positive written any where to lift your spirits? UGH! I am so sick of bad and sad news every where. :(

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Dumbledore is Gay

    Okay so Albus Dumbledore is a gay.

    Big deal!

    My question is: would any one have a problem with it? Not really... or at least I can say that for myself. Of course, I am going to reread the whole series now since I got this bit of information but that's merely out of curiosity than anything else. I'd have a totally different perspective of him now that I know a little more about him. In my opinion, he has been a very mysterious character from the beginning and this will help resolve a lot of questions about why things happened the way they did, or the way he wanted or didn't want.

    And if you're wondering who's the lucky man, it's none other than Gellert Grindelwald!

    Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=3762036&page=1

    The Powerful Mother Nature

    Right now as I type this post, some of the close family members are being affected by the fires that are burning in Southern California right now.

    Everyone is calling in to find out how is everyone doing down there. Are they safe? Is their home safe? Are the kinds of questions you get. Some of the photos are very scary looking and I just hope that mother nature will have mercy on us. I pray to God for the safety of all.

    As I sit here thinking about them, helpless, not being able to do anything but pray and worry, it makes me think... that it is only at times like these certain people call up to check on their family/relatives. Why is it that they wait for an emergency to show that they care? Why do we let feelings like grudge, jealousy, anger take over us so badly that we forget we are humans first. Why is it that only an emergency can make us pick up that phone and ask our loves ones we care? I still wonder...

    But at the end of it all, I am glad that these people do care and come together to support each other, to support the people, people they love and people who love them.

    May God help the ones in need!


    Wild fire photos:







    Thanks to Kumar, I am able to link up these wild fire photos on here.

    More wild fire photos:
  • Link 1
  • Link 2
  • Link 3


    Image Source URL Wild fire smoke as seen from the space.
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Topi Ke Neeche Kya Hai?

    Sing to the tunes of "choli ke peechhe kya hai".


    kukuk ku kukukukukuk
    topi ke neeche kya hai, topi ke neeche (3)
    ho, topi mein baal hai meraa, topi mein baal hai mera (2)
    ye baal mein na dikhaau aap ko, aap ko!
    aah!
    kukuk ku kukukukukuk

    are, laakhon gaane hai mere, laakhon gaane
    pankhe puraane tere, pankhe puraane
    ho, pankha mila na aisaa, hmmm
    meri tareef karta hmmm
    de gaali mujhko aisaa, kya karoon kya karoon
    haay!
    kukuk ku kukukukukuk

    reshammiya naam meraa, reshammiya naam
    naam hai mahenga meraa, kaam hai mahenga
    buttons main khol ke chaloon, chhaati dikha ke chaloon
    kya kya dikha ke chaloon raamji, raamji
    haay!
    kukuk ku kukukukukuk

    are, iss ko bachaa lo junta, iss ko bachaa lo
    dil mein chhupaalo junta, dil mein chhupaalo
    ho, public padi hai peechhe, {o ho!}
    koi mazaak kare, hmmm
    koi khilli udaaye, kya karoon kya karoon
    haay!
    kukuk ku kukukukukuk

    hai! film banaado meri {o ho!} film banaado hmmm
    gaane gavaa do mujhse, gaane gavaa do {ah ha ah ha!}
    paagal bana na jaaye,
    kutta bana na jaaye
    tera gaana sahaa na jaaye, kya karoon kya karoon {hai chhoree}
    kukukuk

    are! singer ho kaisa bolo, singer ho kaisa
    actor ho kaisa bolo, actor ho kaisa
    ho singer ho mere jaisa {ah ha!}
    actor ho mere jaisa {vaah vaah!}
    aaye maza phir kaisaa, nautanki kaa, chillaane ka {vaah!!}
    kukukuk

    ho... Onik ka guru ban jaa, Onik ka guru {kich kich}
    Raja kaa dushman ban ja Amanat ka dushman {kich kich}
    meri salaami kar le
    meri gulaami kar le
    Onik tu hoga koi champion, champion {are jaan!}
    kukukuk

    baal hai kam mere baal hai kam
    topi hai jyada meri, taal hai jyada
    mere taal ke baal
    jaldi se vaapas aaja {ah!}
    hero main ban na chaahu bollywood ka, hollywood ka {ah!}
    kukukuk

    baal bagair actor kis kaam ka
    naak se na gaaye woh singer kis kaam ki
    public ki marzi kon jaane, meri marzi main jaanoon
    meri har picture ekdam hit ho gayi, hot ho gayi {ho choree}

    topi ke neeche kya hai, topi ke neeche (3)
    ho, topi mein baal hai meraa, topi mein taal hai mera {ah ha!}
    ho, topi mein baal hai meraa, topi mein taal hai mera {vah vah}
    ye baal mein na dikhaau aap ko, aap ko! {kurr}
    topi mein baal hai meraa, topi mein taal hai mera (2)
    hu ...
    topi mein baal hai meraa, topi mein taal hai mera
    taal ... taal hai mera ... (2)

    Himesh without Topi -





















    I might look like Suniel Shetty, but I act better than him.
    I also look like Govinda sometimes, but I dance better than him.
    That is my real hair, NOT a TOPI!!




    Hoth mere laal laal main kya karoon? eh I just look like a cross-dresser but I ain't one.
    I am more handsome than Salman Khan and have bigger muscles than his.


    PS. I tried to caption the photographs but not as good at it as Aspi. ;) Mine are simpler and boring.

    What kind of a blogger are you?

    Today, Neha suggests all bloggers should find out what kind of blogger they make.

    So I clicked the link to find out about me and here's what they had to say:

    You Are a Life Blogger!

    Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
    If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.


    Missing Shekhar Ravjiani

    Now that the show is over, I really miss him the most and every thing about him.... *sigh* :(

    The way he closes his eyes when he listens to a slow beautiful song.
    The way he shakes his head with head phones on.
    The way he holds the mike between first two fingers and talks, when he holds it close to mouth.
    The way he says "kya baat hai!" listening to a fantastic song!
    The way he asks for approval for scores and looks towards Vishal.
    The way he smiles.
    The way he sings.
    The way he blushes.
    The way he looks at the camera.
    The way he acts fainting in the Home Delivery video.
    The way he got embarrassed seeing himself fainting in a film scene (Home Delivery).
    The way he couldn't stop laughing when Sujoy Ghosh was talking about him.
    The way he lifts his left hand while talking and points to the stage.
    The way he combs his hair/bangs.
    The way he grooms his beard.
    The way he speaks in Gujarati - "ahiya paN ek Gujarati beTho chhe"!
    The way he gets up and starts clapping.
    The way he imitates Himesh.
    The way he advises singers.
    The way he jumps and dances on stage.
    The way he stands with his hands in pocket.
    The way he gives a standing ovation to singers after they do an awesome job singing!
    The way he holds hand of a girl (hmm lucky Deepika). ;-)
    The way he says thank you.
    The way he says mind-blowing!!!
    The way he... well, practically just all of him.

    Still don't know what I'm talking about? :{ Check these videos.





    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Baby Tiger Poster in India

    So as a kid when I went to vacation at my grandma's I'd always be afraid of this huge poster of baby tiger that used to hang in the living room. The poster is long gone but I'm looking for a photograph of that poster if anyone can help find it. I have been searching for it online since days but haven't seen anything that looked like that old poster. It was of a tiger cub roaring with its mouth open and big bright scary eyes. From what I remember, it was only the face of the baby tiger in the poster, but I could be wrong. I think the same one was shown in one of the Hindi films of those times also but I don't remember which film it was.

    Anyone remembers seeing that baby tiger poster?

    Tuesday, October 09, 2007

    While on the Road...

    I wanted to share this bit with my fellow bloggers since quite a while but didn't have the mood to write it until I read Aspi's Car Literacy post.

    Driving back and forth from work daily, I spend around 2 hours on the road. Before I started doing it for work, I had even longer commute for school/college for more than 4-5 years so I always look for ways to entertain myself while driving. One of the ways is by observing things, things on the road and in other cars, which are mainly inane ;) but once in a while I do come across something interesting or something that makes me think. So here I'd like to share two such things I came across this summer while on the road.

    This first one I kept wondering for quite a while until Yahoo! Answers came to my rescue. So every morning/evening I'd see 18-wheelers trailers (huge trucks) that would have this written on them "air-ride equipped" and I wondered what it meant. By the time I would have access to a computer, I would forget about it. So finally I created a reminder for myself and searched for the answer.

    Air-ride equipped means the vehicles absorb much more road vibration created by holes and digs on the road than coil or leaf springs. These vehicles are also equipped with a suspension system built around sturdy air bags absorbing vibration and impact shock. The contents then float on a cushion of air, nearly eliminating both compression damage and telescoping. I also read that this helps reduce driver fatigue and improves mechanical reliability, tire wear and fuel mileage. This combination translates into less downtime and reliable delivery. (Source: http://www.rush-delivery.com/html/airRide.html)

    And the second one being the CHMSL. I knew about this technology and the reasoning behind it for a few years, but didn't know that there was an official name for it. CHMSL stands for Centre High Mount Stop Lamp. These were implemented a few decades back to prevent accidents and this summer I finally paid attention to how they have been of help while driving, specially during the rush commute hours when traffic is bumper to bumper and freeways become parking lots. All the vehicles in the US must have a functioning third brake light mounted on the trunk (dickie) lid or spoiler or at the edge of the vehicle roof or any location on the rear of the vehicle that is higher than the other two brake lights and it only lits when the brake pedal is compressed. This helps the driver in the back to realize that the car in front of him is stopping or going to stop and prevents him from rear ending the front car. This is crucial and quite important because if a driver hits someone from the back, it's his/her fault and eventually insurance guys come in the picture and the monthly premium increases and their pocket book is hit badly! *POW* And if there's any personal injuries, things get even uglier on the insurance front. The third brake light helps determine when and where to stop our car so accidents can be avoided. May God bless the guy/gal who thought of CHMSL and implemented them on vehicles.

    Friday, October 05, 2007

    Raising The Bar

    A couple of weeks back I heard a story. In the story, there was a little girl who played soccer (Indian football) game. She was really good at doing her job perfect that was to kick the ball towards the net and make sure she made the goal every time she kicked. Her mother would take her for practices and games all the time and watch her progress.

    Usually before the games the little girl would practice and warm-up for a few minutes or so. So once during such warm-up session, she went over to the opposite team's player who would be kicking the ball during the game. She started teaching new tricks to the other player on how to kick better. Right at that time, her mother realized what she was doing and called for her from the side of the ground where she had been sitting and watching her daughter. She gave an upset look to the daughter and whispered in her ears asking why she was teaching all good tricks to the opponent team member. The daughter smiled and said "Mom, if I teach her to kick better, I'd have to get even better than her to catch the ball so that would make be a better goalie! (goal keeper)". The mother realized where she was wrong and smiled at the daughter and requested her to carry on with what she was doing.

    After I listened to the story, it made me think why sometimes we don't raise the bar for ourselves like this little girl did? And it also made me realize that in such cases losing is not losing but winning or may be better than winning. When we raise the bar for ourselves and others, everyone benefits including ourselves.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Yahoo! "Subject" Button Gone Nuts... Literally!

    Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself!! Looks like some Yahoo! folks have too much time on their hands. Hahahahahaha!

    Keep clicking the Subject button and you'll see it.




    Some sample subjects I saw -->

  • Couples welcome
  • Girls, are, wicked awesome.
  • A robot beat me out for Employee of the Month
  • It turns out Harold's not a Jedi.
  • Return at once to the Mother Ship!
  • Flossing with angel hair pasta
  • What's the corkage fee at McDonald's?
  • Pass the timbits!
  • Happy New Now!
  • Sensitive boyfriend sweater
  • Your earrings would make a great fishing lure!
  • I'm a stereotype. I'm not wrong. I'm cuddly.
  • you're not as objectionable as you seem to be, are you?
  • A hip-hop MC performs with improvised rhyme and the spoken word, typically over a thumping beat.
  • Do NOT Read
  • I've never seen a man eat so many chicken wings
  • Golf-ball sized hail! Grab your 9-iron and let's go...
  • My motivational speaking tour
  • Asking for your daughter's paw in marriage
  • the dangerous combination of beard and bread
  • earn more sessions by sleaving
  • KAR 120C where are you?
  • Damn these scruples!
  • Facts: 1) Ninjas are mammals. 2) Ninjas fight ALL the time. 3) The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.
  • for a fish and finger pie
  • Now three, act like wherever you are, that's the place to be.
  • rotating platinum pants
  • Leveraging core competency across the extraprise
  • My favorite color is Vanna White
  • The CARDBOARD PROTOTYPE
  • Afternoon matinee at the drive-in theater?
  • Know the basics of TORNADO SAFETY and have a PLAN TO SURVIVE!
  • If you don't tell lies, at least you don't have to remember what you have said.
  • Get your tongue out of my mouth, cuz I'm kissing you goodbye!
  • Please put your hands together for the lovely Shasta!
  • I am not a chew toy
  • a little pod out of Spiral called Moonbase
  • Scratch golfer finds ball in poison oak
  • You can't make friends with salad.
  • circulate darling, circulate!
  • Hi, I've got Pud from F-----Company on line 2...
  • You can fight or you can surf. Now what's it gonna be?
  • Is your coffee table decaff?
  • How about never? Is never good for you?
  • I changed her oil, she changed my life
  • Catch-23
  • Orange Mocha Frappuccinos!
  • Bailout Rescue Plan
  • Up ahead! It's a DONUT HUT!!
  • Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    How to Login to Two Yahoo! Accounts at Once

  • Close all IE windows.
  • Launch Windows Explorer.
  • Go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab and check the box labeled "Launch folder windows in a separate process".

    This affects IE as well.

    This change may decrease the performance a bit because of the added memory demands but you will be able to open two windows and access two different Yahoo! accounts at the same time.
  • Village Wine & Cheese, A Gourmet Market

    I got a chance to eat at this place a few months ago in May. We just ended up at this place by chance as we were walking on Broadway on a late rainy afternoon in this tiny college town of Columbia. It was great to find a restaurant that was open around 3:30 PM in the afternoon. Usually, they're closed for a couple of hours right after lunch time and before dinner time.

    This one is quite a large place, one part of the restaurant is a huge bar with lots of wine choices. You can almost call it a wine-lovers' paradise. They have rows and rows of racks filled with wine bottles. And the other part is main restaurant. The ambiance was good and gives the place sort of a romantic yet casual atmosphere. The waiters were very polite and helped answer quite a few of our questions.

    They have an extensive menu of sandwiches that you can choose from and more than seven different types of veg sandwiches you can pick from. The ones I got to eat and taste were the following:

    The Village Garden sandwich has assorted roasted vegetables, fresh tomatoes and Swiss cheese baked on foccacia bread; finished with herb aioli, scallion cream cheese and alfalfa sprouts.

    Their Mary Ellen’s Mozzarella Madness has roasted eggplant, tomato, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella & balsamic vinaigrette served hot on a French baguette.

    These have been the best Italian sandwiches that I've ever eaten. The portion was quite large and very filling. I didn't get to try any desserts as the sandwich was heavy.

    While we were leaving, we bought some wine for our alcohol drinking friends and asked whether they had another restaurant in California. Unfortunately, they are family owned and this is their only location in the US. I would love to visit this place again at any time!

    Dinner is not served daily at this place. Please visit their site for more info.

    My rating for Village Wine & Cheese is 4.5/5.


    Name: Village Wine & Cheese, A Gourmet Market
    Type: Sandwich, Steak, Seafood
    Average Price: $10/person (Lunch), $15/person (Dinner)
    Address: 929 East Broadway, Columbia, Missouri 65201
    Phone: (573) 442-1010
    Fax: (573) 815-9703
    Email: info@villagewineandcheese.com
    Website: http://www.villagewineandcheese.com/


    From the outside

    The Village Garden sandwich

    Mary Ellen’s Mozzarella Madness sandwich

    Sakura Sushi

    I have visited this place at least three times for lunch. They're located right in Sunnyvale downtown.

    Their Veggie Lovers Bento Box is served with miso soup, salad & rice. All the dishes come with the gari (pickled ginger) and the wasabi sauce. Both of which make all the food quite delicious!

    As a veg, we have a choice of asparagus rolls, vegetable tempura, agedashi tofu, wakame (seaweed salad), vegetable rolls, inari (kind of a stuffed and fried roll), and kanpyo maki (pickled-gourd rolls).

    For lunch, you can choose up to two items from the above list and for dinner you can choose up to three items as part of your bento box.

    My most favorite is the wakame and vegetable rolls. Their wakame has nice amount of sesame seeds which give it a real good taste and the rolls are also quite delicious. Their miso soup is also nice.

    Their menu says they serve jalapeño poppers as part of all the bento boxes but I've never seen any. Hmm... I should ask that next time I am there.

    The place is small but usually isn't too crowded for lunch time. Staff is courteous and polite.

    My rating for Sakura is 3/5.


    Name: Sakura Sushi
    Type: Japanese
    Average Price: $10/person (Lunch), $15/person (Dinner)
    Address: 173 South Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
    Phone: (408) 481-9474
    Website: None.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Navratri Garba 2007 - SF Bay Area Schedule/Dates & Info

    To all garba fans of the bay area, here are the Navratri garba dates for the year 2007.


    Sept 15 - CLiPS Bayarea - Holy Spirit Church, 37588 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA

    Sept 22 - CLiPS Bayarea - Holy Spirit Church, 37588 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA

    Sept 29 - DHOOM Dandia - Sunnyvale Temple
    Sept 29 - Bombaiya Dandia - Avalon Club


    Oct 06 - Raas Garba Challenge 2007 - Bay Area Vaishnav Parivar

    Oct 11 - India Community Center (Milpitas) [Thursday 7 PM to 8 PM]

    Oct 13
    - India Cultural Association of the Bay Area (Sunnyvale) (more info)

    Oct 18 - India Community Center (Milpitas) [Thursday 7 PM to 8 PM]

    Oct 19
    - GCA Bay Area - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)
    Oct 19 - Vibha (4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto)

    Oct 20
    - GCA Bay Area - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)
    Oct 20 - Sankara Eye Foundation Dandia (San Jose Convention Center)
    Oct 20 - Vibha (E San Fernando St AND 9th Street, San Jose)
    Oct 20 - India Cultural Association of the Bay Area (Sunnyvale) (more info)

    Oct 26 - GCA Bay Area - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)

    Oct 27 - GCA Bay Area - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)
    Oct 27 - Sankara Eye Foundation Dandia (Santa Clara Convention Center)
    Oct 27 - Vibha (E San Fernando St AND 9th Street, San Jose)
    Oct 27 - India Cultural Association of the Bay Area (Sunnyvale) (more info)


    Nov 02 - GCA Bay Area - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)

    Nov 03 - GCA BayArea - CSU East Bay Gym (Hayward)
    Nov 03 - SSF Diwali Dandia Nite - Centerville Junior High School (Fremont)


    More info:
    GCA Bay Area - Phone number: Saurin Patel (510)-668-0451

    You can save money by becoming a GCA member. Their site is: http://www.gcabayarea.com/membership.htm
    The membership form is here: http://www.gcabayarea.com/doc_pdf/Mem07-08.pdf
    You can fill it out and send it to Lattaben Patel (before September deadline it's ~$10 less than in October), and pick up the membership card first day of garba.

    If you know of any other place that has organized garba that I might have missed, please do share. Thanks!

    Disclaimer: The above information comes from various sources, and has not been checked for validity. Please contact the organization for more info.

    Last updated: October 12, 2007

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Peach-picking in Brentwood, CA

    By the time we decided to go cherry-picking in East Bay (that's the eastern side of land of the San Francisco bay) this year, it was aleady too late for cherry-picking but we were fortunate enough to find a few farms that allowed us to pick fruits like peaches, plums, and nectarines that have longer season than cherries. Cherry-picking is the most famous activity in summer in Brentwood, CA. People travel from far away to come and pick the fruits while eating them as they browse through the farms on a hot summer day.

    Driving from hwy 580 onto North Vasco road, the hills are literally covered with windmills.

    Some of the fruit is still raw waiting for the heat to ripen it as the season progresses.

    A peach I picked and ate. It was very sweet. :)

    This farm has rows and rows of trees like these.

    Some peaces were too ripe and fell off on the ground from the tree. Too bad they never make it to a basket and in someone's tummy.

    The stall where you pay for the fruits you picked. You don't pay for the ones you already ate, those are free. :D


    For more photos of peach-picking in Brentwood, click here.

    To find other farms that grow the fruits you like and allow fruit-picking in and around Brentwood, click here.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Story of a Tiny Frog



    Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

    A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.

    The race began...

    Honestly: No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

    You heard statements such as:

    'Oh, WAY too difficult!!'

    'They will NEVER make it to the top.'

    'Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!'

    The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one...

    Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher...

    The crowd continued to yell, 'It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!'

    More tiny frogs got tired and gave up...

    But ONE continued higher and higher and higher...

    This one wouldn't give up!

    At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower.

    Except for the one tiny frog that, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

    A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal.

    It turned out...

    That the winner was DEAF!!!!

    The moral of this story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic. 'cause they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you. The ones you have in your heart!

    Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

    Therefore: ALWAYS be POSITIVE!

    And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that YOU can not fulfill YOUR dreams!

    Always think: I can do this!

    Ni Mo Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar

    A vegetarian person has good number of choices here. Located right in San Mateo downtown. Ni Mo offers good service and has friendly staff. I've been to the place more than twice just for this reason that they have more veg options.

    The server starts you off with some fresh boiled whole soybeans to munch on with green tea until the meal is served.

    Their vegetarian bento box has all different kinds of Japanese foods one can eat including veg tempura, veg rolls, veg aged tofu, seaweed salad served with salad, miso soup and steamed rice.

    In addition to that, they have more than nine different kinds of veg rolls like sour plum, wild carrot, mushroom, fermented soy bean, deep fried yam, pickled radish, cucumber, avocado, and asparagus.

    My rating for Ni Mo is 4/5.


    Name: Ni Mo Japanese Cuisine
    Type: Japanese
    Average Price: $8-14/person (Lunch), $11-16/person (Dinner)
    Address: 73 East 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401
    Phone: (650) 342-0288
    Website: None.

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Tagged!!

    This is my first one! Ami has tagged me. Not sure whether my interpretation is right but I think she wants me to answer these questions best to my knowledge. ;)

    Nineteen questions!! Oh boy! even my board exams were simpler.. just kidding! :D


  • Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.

    Too many to pick from but this one is the most recent one so here goes. It's on my right knee. Sunday, August 19, 2007. In the evening I went to the beach with my sister to watch the sunset. While climbing down to the sandy area from a steep rock, I put my foot on this man-made step on the rock and before I realize that it's too small for my 11-inch foot, I was in this extra-large puddle of seawater with my entire left side of body under water. I realized after a moment which was actually quite long because everyone who saw me fall had stepped in the water by then to pick me up. I realized that parts of my body had hit a huge log in the water that people had put there to avoid stepping in the water. Both of my knees, other parts of legs, my left arm and my camera got hurt. My knees got the most cuts/bruises with right one being the worst. The purple, green, magenta colored bruises took about 3 weeks to heal and the cuts left a scar behind.

  • What does your phone look like? List your reasons to buy it?

    It's a Motorola V400. Bought it because it had the GSM technology and camera and looks like this:


  • What is on the walls of your bedroom?

    A whole bunch of family members' photos, some photos with friends, art posters by sis, a noisy clock, a hand-made poster with 12 pages of an old calendar with cute friendship quotes, another hand-made poster of four photos of national parks, a whole bunch of cuttings from another old baby-animals calendar and large pictures of baal Krishna and Lord Shiva. There are also more than three dozens glow-in-the-dark stars stuck all over the place including on the ceiling. Wow I'm surprised I still have space left on the walls!

  • What is your current desktop picture?

    A photo of Asrani when he was young! lol no just kidding. It's Shahid Kapoor's poster! ;)


  • Do you believe in gay marriage?

    Sure, why not. Whatever works.

  • What do you want more than anything right now?

    Another weekend, or anything but Monday. :P

  • What time were you born?

    A time long long ago... :|

  • Are your parents still together?

    (goes to double check, and back) They said yes. :D

  • Last person who made you cry?

    The lady who was cutting too many onions while preparing for the meal at the function. :P No, I think it was my sis and no she wasn't cutting any onions.

  • What is your favorite perfume / cologne?

    Too suffocating for me, but if I had to pick one I'd pick Longing. Inner Realm is also nice.

  • What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?

    How about fluorescent pink! ;)
    Nooo, on the other hand, black/dark brown would be just fine. Thank you.

  • What are you listening to? Why?

    Mohd. Rafi's taareef karofy songs
    - ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar
    - taareef karoon kya uss ki
    - bahot shukriya badi meherbaani
    - yoon to humne laakh haseen dekhe hai
    - chaudhvin ka chaand ho
    - aye gulbadan phoolon ki mahek
    - yeh reshmi zulfen
    - teri bindiya re
    and then some Gujarati songs like
    - jeevan anjali thaajo
    - jeevan panth ujaaL
    - ho raaj mane laagyo
    - hu ne chandu
    - naiyaa jhukaavi me to
    - janani ni jod sakhi
    These are looping on the winamp right now.
    Mohd Rafi because I adore his voice and Gujarati because of this new blog.

  • Do you get scared of the dark?

    Sometimes, yes if I am alone.

  • Do you like painkillers?

    Nope.

  • Are you too shy to ask someone out?

    Yes, now. Used to be otherwise before.

  • If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

    Laadu made of left-over rotalis, ghee and jaggery/brown sugar/goL like my great grandma used to make and feed us.

  • Who was the last person who made you mad?

    A very high maintenance person whom I know through friends. Really glad I am not friends with her.

  • List one habit you have that has the potential to annoy people?

    An ability to talk non-stop regardless of what time of the day/night it is. :D

  • Who was the last person who made you smile?

    Janki, when she complimented me about my dimples yesterday.

    The next people to be tagged are RJ, Bhavesh, Jigar and JD.
  • Friday, September 14, 2007

    संकष्टनाशन महा गणपति स्तोत्रम्

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all!

    Ganapati Bappa Moriya

    संकष्टनाशन महा गणपति स्तोत्रम्

    ||श्री गणेशाय नामः ||

    नारद उवाच -

    प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रम् विनायाकम् |
    भक्तावासम् स्मरेनित्यामायु: कामार्थासिध्धये ||

    प्रथमं वक्रतुन्ड़म् च एकदन्तम् द्वितियकम् |
    त्रुतियम् क्रिश्नापिन्गाक्षम् गजवक्त्रम् चतुर्थकम् ||

    लम्बोदरम् पंचमं च षश्ठम् विकटमेव च |
    सप्तमं विघ्नराजेंद्रम् धुम्रवर्णम् तथाष्टमं ||

    नवमं भाल्चंद्रम् च दशमं तू विनायकम् |
    एकादशम् गणपतिम् द्वादशम् तू गजाननं ||

    द्वादषैतानी नामानी त्रिसंध्यम य: पठेन्नर: |
    न च विघ्नभयम तस्य सर्वसिद्धिकरम् प्रभो ||

    विद्यार्थी लभते विद्या धनार्थी लभते धनं |
    पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम् ||

    जपेत गणपतिस्तोत्रम् शभिर्मास: फलं लभेत |
    सम्वत्सरें सिद्धिम् च लभते नात्र संशय: ||

    अष्टभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यष्च लिखित्वा य: समर्पयेत |
    तस्त्य विद्या भवेत्सर्वा गणेशस्य प्रसादत: ||

    इति श्री नारदपुराणे संकष्टनाशन नाम् श्री गणपतिस्तोत्रम् सम्पूर्णम् ||

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    General Motors Reply to Bill Gates

    Got this in a forwarded email. It was a fun read!



    At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

    "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

    In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

    "If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part, esp 7th point and 10th point):"

    1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
    2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
    3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
    4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
    5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would ! run on only five percent of the roads.
    6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation" warning light.
    7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
    8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
    9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
    10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    List of Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

    I personally get very annoyed with the mouse sometimes while using the computer. Keyboard comes in the picture as a blessing at that time. Over the past few years, I have collected all different shortcuts that I came across. Thought of sharing these with fellow keyboard lovers. If you think I missed any or you know more, please do share. I'd appreciate it.

    Happy keyboarding!


    General

  • Alt + Esc - Shuffles through the open windows
  • Alt + F4 - Close the working window
  • Alt + G - Google Toolbar (if you have it installed)
  • Alt + Print Screen - Copies just the active window/dialog box
  • Alt + Space + N - Minimize the selected window
  • Alt + Space + X - Maximize the selected window
  • Alt + Space - Upper left corner System menu displays (in any window)
  • Alt + Tab - Shuffle open windows on desktop
  • Alt + Enter - When done this on an icon, it displays the ShortCut tab of Properties window

  • Ctrl + A - Select all items on page
  • Ctrl + Alt + Del - Opens the Windows Security dialog box
  • Ctrl + C - Copy items to clipboard
  • Ctrl + End - Go to bottom end of file
  • Ctrl + Esc - Same as a click on Start button
  • Ctrl + F4 - Close the top most file in working window
  • Ctrl + Home - Go to top of file
  • Ctrl + Mouse wheel spin - Increases or decreases the zoom of the text
  • Ctrl + O - Opens the Open File dialog box
  • Ctrl + S - Saves page
  • Ctrl + Tab - Shuffle files open in the same window
  • Ctrl + V - Paste items from clipboard
  • Ctrl + W - Closes the active file in the current window
  • Ctrl + X - Cut and copy items to clipboard
  • Ctrl + Y - Redo last action
  • Ctrl + Z - Undo last action
  • Ctrl + Print Screen - Copies entire screen, then you can do Ctrl + V in Paint of MS Word to create a screen shot.

  • F1 - Display Help file
  • Tab - Toggle forward through page items
  • Down Arrow - Scroll down
  • Up Arrow - Scroll up
  • Print Screen - Copies entire screen
  • Shift + Delete - Deletes a file/an object permanently without it appearing in the Recycle Bin
  • Shift + Tab - Reverse Tab

  • Win - Same as a click on Start button
  • Win + D - Show desktop (Minimize All/Undo Minimize All)
  • Win + E - Opens My Computer/Windows Explorer
  • Win + M - Minimizes all open windows
  • Win + Pause - Brings up the Systems Properties window
  • Win + R + Calc - Opens the Calculator
  • Win + R + cmd - Opens the MS-DOS prompt window
  • Win + R + Excel - Opens MS Excel application
  • Win + R + http://www .com - Typed URL Website in IE
  • Win + R + Mspaint - Opens the MS Paint application
  • Win + R + Notepad - Opens the notepad
  • Win + R + view-source:http://www .com - Typed URL source code in notepad
  • Win + R + WinWord - Opens MS Word application
  • Win + R + WordPad - Opens the WordPad application
  • Win + R + www. - Launches the IE window with www. in the address bar
  • Win + R - Opens the Run dialog box same as Start -> Run
  • Win + Tab - Shuffle through taskbar windows without opening them


    Internet Explorer & Mozilla Firefox, My Computer, Windows Explorer

  • Alt + D - Jumps to the address bar and selects the text
  • Alt + Home - Return to your homepage
  • Alt + Left Arrow - Move backward to a previous page
  • Alt + Right Arrow - Move forward to a previous page
  • Backspace - Back button on IE/FireFox, or View the folder one level up (used for My Computer and Windows Explorer)
  • Ctrl + F5 - Refresh from the server and bypass the local cache
  • Ctrl + F6 - Brings cursor to the Address Bar
  • Ctrl + B - Open and organize favorites list
  • Ctrl + D - Add current page to favorites list
  • Ctrl + F - performs a find on the current page
  • Ctrl + H - Opens the History
  • Ctrl + I - Shows the favorites
  • Ctrl + L - Brings cursor to the Address Bar or displays Open dialog box
  • Ctrl + N - Opens a new window
  • Ctrl + P - Opens the Print dialog box
  • Ctrl + R - Refresh a web page
  • Ctrl + T - Opens a new tab
  • Ctrl + Tab - Move forward between frames
  • F6 - Highlights the address bar
  • Shift + F10 - Displays the pop-up menu (Right click pop-up menu). The third button to the right from Space key between the Windows and ctrl button.
  • Shift + Left mouse click - Opens the link in new window
  • Shift + Mouse wheel spin - Forward and backward through the pages you have visited
  • Ctrl + Enter - Puts http://www. and .com around the word in address bar. If your OS and/or IE are another language other than English, then it will add the appropriate extension. E.g. for Japanese version it will add .co.jp at the end instead of .com.
  • Esc - Stop downloading/loading current page
  • F4 - Pull down the Address Bar site list
  • F5 - Refresh page


    Mozilla Firefox Only

  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter - Puts http://www. and .org around the word in address bar
  • Shift + Enter - Puts http://www. and .net around the word in address bar


    MS Word Only

  • Alt + F5 - Resizes the MS Word window(makes it smaller)
  • Shift + F3 - Toggles between Lower Case, Capitalize, Upper Case in MS Word and other selected applications


    KVM Switch Only

  • Scroll Lock + Scroll Lock + 2 - Switches to computer connected on port 2 of your switch. This is when you have one set of monitor, keyboard, mouse and multiple CPUs connected to it via a KVM switch. Here the third numeric value entered is the port number of the switch.
  • C'era Una Volta

    In Italian, "C'era Una Volta" means Once Upon A Time.

    If you really want to impress someone (e.g. take someone on a date, take your hiring manager for lunch ;), etc.), this is the place to go. Fine Italian dining is what I call it. The place is nice and cozy and the location is hidden from the main street so not visible if you drive past on the 1300 block from the Park street. Got a chance to dine there when a friend got surprise proposal party there. The restaurant parking is accessible from the parallel street named Park Avenue. Reservation is a must.

    The food was quite good and the staff is very friendly and polite. That's what you can expect when you are paying that kind of money to dine at such a fine place.

    They do have a selection of veg. dishes. I personally love mushroom so enjoy anything with mushroom in it.

    Starting with salads they have two we can pick from. Insalata Dell’Orto is mixed greens topped with seasonal vegetables and olives and Insalata di Spinaci has baby Spinach with walnuts and zesty onion dressed in a warm balsamic vinaigrette and topped with goat cheese.

    Cannelloni di Spinaci is rolls of traditional pasta fresca filled with fresh Ricotta and delicate Spinach.

    Gnocchi is potato dumpling pasta served with your choice of pesto, gorgonzola or meat sauce. This one you have to request the vegetarian version. It is very creamy and rich so quite filling dish.

    And I got to try the Ravioli di Porcini that has porcini mushroom ravioli with mushroom cream sauce. It was quite delicious if I say so myself and not too filling.

    Ravioli di Spinaci has ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta. This was quite good as well.

    The Melanzane alla Parmigiana has delicate slices of Eggplant layered with Italian Cheeses and a light Pomodoro Sauce. Quite large portion even for dinner.

    The place is closed on Mondays and their menu changes with seasons so not all of these items might be available throughout the year. They also host a (paid) monthly meeting of regional culture, food and wine.

    My rating: 4.5/5


    Name: C'era Una Volta, Caffé Enoteca Ristorante
    Type: Italian
    Average Price: $15-20/person (Dinner)
    Address: 1332 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501
    Phone: (510) 769-4828
    Website: http://www.ceraunavolta.us/


    Here I'd like to share an interesting piece of information. Here in the US generally speaking it is a norm that when you go to an Italian restaurant, you are served bread and butter/sauce before you get your main course. They usually don't charge the guests for this bread and you can request for more, if you want more. This is true for certain Mediterranean, German and American restaurants as well. But what I found out recently was that in Italy, the guests actually pay for the bread also, along with their meals.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Mammoth Lakes

    Mammoth Lakes, CA is located off of Hwy 395 in the South East direction from Yosemite National Park.

    From Yosemite National Park, continuing on Hwy 120 East, we stopped at Olmsted Point to catch this view.
    Half Dome from Olmsted Point

    After 120 East, to go towards Mammoth Lakes we take Hwy 395 South. Lake Mono is on the Eastern side of this highway.
    Lake Mono and Hwy 395

    Lake Mary at Mammoth Lakes

    Lake George and other surrounding lakes as seen from the end of Crystal Lake trail

    Devil's Postpile - 60-ft formation is made of basalt lava, some 100,000 yrs old.

    Crystal Lake is after hiking up and down for almost 2 miles at the end of Crystal Lake Trail.

    The only mammoth I saw at Mammoth Lakes! :-)

    Visited: July 2003

    Click here for more photos of Mammoth Lakes.